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Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Airport to host job fair amid increased airline travel

Travelers returning to the air means job opportunities at one Alabama airport.

Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport’s traffic increased 260% in June compared to the same month last year, according to a report from WBRC.

As a result, the airport will host a job fair in August.

Airport official Candace O’Neil noted that many job opportunities are associated with concessions and other stores.

“There is really only maybe one or two options that have not re-opened yet,” she said. “We are working closely with our concession air partners and our vendors, especially our valet partners as well, just to keep an eye on passenger traffic as it increases, so that we can have the best plan moving forward on re-opening everything fully.”

Although the airport has yet to set a date for the event, O’Neil stated that hiring may occur on the spot.

Airline travel has increased across the country and left many stakeholders in the industry confronting staffing challenges.

Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastian said his company did not anticipate the size of the summer travel rebound.

“This volume has surprised us, how quickly people have gotten back to travel,” Mr. Bastian said in an interview. “It’s been, candidly, overwhelming.”

Delta reported a second-quarter profit of $652 million after absorbing losses during the previous five quarters. The company credited rising travel demand as one of the factors driving its profit.

Bastian explained that third-party contractors have struggled to hire people to push wheelchairs, refuel planes and cater flights. The demand for more customer service representatives has increased, as well.

Southwest expanded available overtime and offered flight attendants double pay during the Fourth of July travel weekend.

Alan Kasher, Southwest’s executive vice president of daily operations, explained that the staffing shortages were temporary.

“We were prepared for this increase in travel demand with the aircraft and staffing we planned for the summer, and this increase is welcome news after our business suffered last year,” he wrote. “However, irregular operations disrupt even the best plans and can make it difficult to recover the operation quickly.”

Tim Howe is an owner of Yellowhammer Multimedia

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